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Reversing forklift accident leads to £7,000 fine

  • 15 April 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Essex manufacturing company LP Foreman Sons has been fined £7,000 for safety failings after a forklift truck reversed into a delivery driver’s leg, fracturing his ankle.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court was told how the 44-year-old man was struck by the truck as he stepped from the rear of his lorry after helping the forklift operator reach a pallet from inside the vehicle at the firm’s site in Chelmsford in August 2013.

The worker, who does not wish to be named, suffered a serious fracture of his left ankle, severe damage to tendons and a large fracture blister that covered his lower leg.

He returned to light duties in November 2013 and resumed as a driver in January this year. The court heard it had become common practice for drivers to instruct forklift truck operators where to place loads in their vehicles for ease of delivery.

The HSE found that although this brought drivers directly into the area of the yard where forklift trucks were operating, no effective procedures had been established or training provided to ensure that workers on foot and moving vehicles were kept safely apart.

LP Foreman Sons was ordered to pay £621 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

After the case, HSE inspector Paul Grover, said: “This was an entirely preventable injury caused by LP Foreman Sons’ failure to recognise the hazards arising from loading operations at its premises.

“Our investigation found that there was an absence of effective systems of control that were sufficiently robust to allow workplace transport and pedestrians to circulate the site in safety.”


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